INDIA: The Forces of Babel

"Strong disruptive forces are at work," Jawaharlal Nehru told admiring throngs as he toured South India last week. "But India, from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, is going to remain one solid, united entity in spite of everything and everybody." Among the forces Nehru had in mind were the forces of Babel, for India is a nation of 14 major tongues and hundreds of dialects. He hoped, by recognizing India's diversity, to unify it.

Purpose of Nehru's speechmaking was to ask for calm and reasonable response to the implications of a report of...

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